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At the end of a dizzying frenzy of trades in the N.B.A., featuring 24 deals in one week

At the end of a dizzying frenzy of trades in the N.B.A., featuring 24 deals in one week, Anthony Davis of the New Orleans Pelicans stayed put — for now.

Yet there was plenty of action to make up for the lack of a Davis trade, with two of the four title hopefuls in the Eastern Conference making significant acquisitions before Thursday afternoon’s trade deadline, cheap nba jerseys china
intensifying the race at the top of the East after Philadelphia’s big trade earlier this week.

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In the most significant deadline-day deals, Toronto acquired the former All-Star center Marc Gasol from Memphis, while Milwaukee imported the sharpshooting forward Nikola Mirotic from New Orleans as part of a three-team deal that also involved Detroit.

Those moves capped a wild seven-day stretch that began with the Knicks’ blockbuster trade of Kristaps Porzingis to Dallas and also included the 76ers’ acquisition of Tobias Harris from the Los Angeles Clippers. Philadelphia’s big swing to land Harris, who joined a starting lineup that already featured Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, Jimmy Butler and JJ Redick, seemingly forced the Raptors and Bucks, who entered Thursday as the East’s second- and first-place teams, to make their own moves.

Scott Could Solve Sixers’ Bench Woes

The fact that somebody with emoji tattoos can be a valuable contributor on a professional basketball team is baffling.

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Yet such is the case with the Sixers’ Mike Scott.

The recently acquired forward had his best game as a Sixer Saturday night against the Warriors, cheap nba jerseys
solidifying his role as one of the second unit’s most valuable pieces. Scott finished with 22 points — 20 of which came in the second half — to go along with six made threes.

For a bench devoid of true 3-and-D wings, Scott is the next best thing. There’s no denying his ability to space the floor. He’s shooting 42% from three, including a scorching 59% since the All-Star break. Additionally, he’s an underrated defender that can guard multiple positions on the switch. Perhaps most importantly, he brings a level of toughness to a bench whose previous “enforcer” for lack of a better term, was TJ McConnell.
Even Jimmy Butler has sung Scott’s praises:

“Mike’s great,” Butler told Sixers.com last Monday, “constantly smiling, cracking jokes, keeping it light-hearted around here, knowing that basketball is basketball, but having good people is going to trump any and everything.”

WHAT THIS MEANS GOING FORWARD
Saturday’s game provided yet another example of how lethal the Sixers can be come April. While their bench (or lack thereof) could be their downfall in the playoffs, the small ball lineup with Scott at the five has shown promise, albeit in spurts.

At its peak, it can force dominant yet laterally challenged fives like DeMarcus Cousins to guard the perimeter. Think about its potential to neutralize shot blockers like Marc Gasol and Aron Baynes. Scott’s shooting even relegated Cousins to the bench for spurts in the third quarter and for good reason. When guarding one another, Scott outscored Cousins twelve to five according to NBA Advanced Stats.

Nobody will say that an injured Joel Embiid is good. Still, it can’t hurt that his injury has allowed coach Brett Brown to experiment with lineups. Playing Scott at the five could prove effective when neither Boban Marjanovic nor Jonah Bolden can get it going.

Don’t get me wrong: Scott is far from perfect. A boneheaded foul by Scott effectively ended the Sixers’ chances to regain the lead. His recent play, however, has been encouraging. The combo forward is averaging 12 points and over three long balls over the past five games.

Scott obviously played the game of his life on Saturday but his demeanor was by far the biggest takeaway. Whether the World Champions or a crunch time bucket, Scott wants all the smoke. Fearless players are a dime a dozen in today’s NBA. The Sixers are lucky to have him. That fearlessness will pay big dividends down the stretch and certainly win Scott plenty of beers in Philly.

Heat Drop Nets Back Below .500 in a Rout

Kelly Olynyk scored 25 points, Derrick Jones Jr. added 18 off the bench, and the host Miami Heat never trailed on the way to routing the Nets, 117-88, on Saturday night.

Rodney McGruder added 17 points for Miami, and Bam Adebayo grabbed 16 rebounds — three more than the Nets’ entire starting lineup.

Joe Harris scored 15 points and Rodions Kurucs added 11 for the Nets, who have dropped 10 of their last 15 games. D’Angelo Russell and Spencer Dinwiddie each scored 10 points. The 29-point margin was Miami’s largest of the season and the Nets’ largest in a loss.

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“Tonight, we were searching for everything: offense, defense, rebounding,” Nets Coach Kenny Atkinson said, adding, “I think they dominated us in every fashion.”

The Nets (32-33) fell below the .500 mark for the first time since Jan. 14, when they were 22-23. They remained No. 6 in the Eastern Conference race, Wholesale jerseys
percentage points ahead of Detroit. Miami remained No. 10 in the East, a game behind No. 8 Orlando and No. 9 Charlotte and two and a half games behind the Nets.

It was the first time Miami had won back-to-back home games since Jan. 10 and 12. The Heat have not had a three-game home winning streak this season.
The Heat rolled even without Goran Dragic (strained left calf) and Hassan Whiteside (strained left hip). James Johnson, who has been out with a sprained shoulder, was in uniform but did not play.

Miami led by 54-44 at the half and pushed the lead to 20 for the first time with about four minutes left in the third when Jones muscled in a left-handed layup.

The Heat had wasted double-digit leads in their previous four games — 11 in what became a blowout loss to Detroit, 13 in a close loss to Phoenix, 24 against Golden State (when Dwyane Wade hit a buzzer-beater for the win) and 21 on Thursday in a loss to Houston. This time, they finished the job. The lead was 84-64 going into the fourth, and it stayed one-sided the rest of the way.

Rumor: Sixers interested in Noah Vonleh

With the Sixers firmly in “Win Now” mode following the acquisition of Jimmy Butler, it’s no secret that the team needs to bolster its bench. The topic has been discussed by everyone from the random egg on Twitter to head coach Brett Brown in last night’s post-game press conference.

At the very least, it would appear Philadelphia general manager Elton Brand is making inquiries. Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News reports that one such inquiry concerns New York Knicks big man Noah Vonleh.
Vonleh has been one of the success stories of cheap philadelphia 76ers jersey New York’s “give another shot to former lottery picks” strategy. Understandably, as they race full steam ahead for the lottery, the Knicks will look to recoup something for him before he reaches unrestricted free agency this summer.

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The 6’9” former Indiana Hoosier is in the midst of a career year, averaging 8.6 points, 8.5 rebounds, 2.1 assists, and 0.9 blocks per game. Vonleh has a career-best true shooting percentage of 57.5%, including hitting 41.1% of his 3-point attempts (on a modest 2.1 attempts per game). Also sporting a career-best 2.1 Defensive Box Plus/Minus, he is a reasonably agile defender for someone who can alternate between the power forward and center positions.

Vonleh is on a 1-year, $1.62 million deal with the Knicks, with a cap hit of just $1.51M. Given the low cap figure, trying to match salaries is not an arduous task like it would be for someone like Jeremy Lin. Therefore, making any deal work between the two clubs would be focused around reaching an agreement on what draft asset(s) would make for a fair return.

A second-round pick would probably be an easy decision from the Sixers’ perspective. If the Knicks drew a hard line at a first-round pick, though, would you do the deal? Vote below.

A Sixers Rookie Tradition: Chick-fil-A Runs, and a Mega Order for Joel Embiid

TJ McConnell was annoyed. It was about an hour before tipoff for a November game between his Philadelphia 76ers and the Indiana Pacers, but this had nothing to do with the team’s impending matchup.

The day before, McConnell and the rest of the Sixers had boarded a private plane in Philadelphia for a two-hour flight to Indianapolis. McConnell’s bags were packed, and his devices were charged. He was prepared to, well, sit back, relax and enjoy the flight—until he realized something was missing.

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There was no Chick-fil-A on board, and McConnell believed that Landry Shamet, his rookie teammate, was to blame.

For a few years now, Sixers rookies have been tasked with supplying their teammates with fresh crispy chicken sandwiches before team flights. According to Jason Richardson,cheap nba jerseys china
who spent three seasons with the Sixers before retiring in 2015, Thaddeus Young and Evan Turner started the tradition in the fall of 2012. The team has gone through five general managers and nearly 100 players since. And yet, somehow, preflight Chick-fil-A endures.

Shamet was briefed on his duties early this season by Sixers veteran JJ Redick, and during his first few months with the team, he grew familiar with the local Chick-fil-A drive-thru. “But on this trip,” he said while dressing that evening in the visitors’ locker room of Indianapolis’ Bankers Life Fieldhouse, “the guys didn’t want any food.”

Overhearing this, McConnell, eating a plate of quinoa and chicken in front of the locker next to Shamet, looked aghast and quickly disagreed, prompting Shamet to plead: “You guys got to let me know. We have Slack for a reason.”

“No, you’ve got to remember,” McConnell replied. “What are we, your planner and calendar?”
McConnell was speaking from experience. He’d been in Shamet’s position just three years earlier as one of three rookies on that Sixers roster. Early that season, someone—McConnell doesn’t recall who—approached him and fellow rookies Jahlil Okafor and Richaun Holmes and notified them of their preflight responsibilities. Okafor and Holmes both ignored the decree.

“So I ended up going every time,” McConnell said. “It wasn’t too bad, though. I’ve heard of much worse stuff that other rookies have had to do.”

Insider: Stakes rising as Pacers enter crucial head-to-head matchup with Sixers

INDIANAPOLIS — Other than a slip up at the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Pacers take care of bad teams.

It’s teams at the top such as the Philadelphia 76ers (29-16), who play at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Thursday, that are most concerning.

“The next step is winning against really good teams,” said Victor Oladipo,cheap nba jerseys from china
who posted a season-high 36 points against the Sixers in a 100-94 home loss Nov. 7 but only 14 points in a 113-101 win Dec. 14 on their floor. “The Raptors, Milwaukee, Celtics, Golden State, that’s the next step — beating them consistently.

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“We don’t have a great record against those teams. Teams like this, you’ve got to take care of business.”
Whichever team wins will be up 2-1 in the season series and in the driver’s seat for the final meeting March 10. The Pacers are down 0-2 to the Toronto Raptors and already have lost that three-game season series; are 1-1 with the Milwaukee Bucks with games remaining Feb. 13 and March 7; and 1-1 vs. the Boston Celtics with two games left March 29 and April 5.

Now past the halfway point, there’s more attention on the first criteria, head-to-head, for playoff seeding tiebreakers. Division record (when applicable) and conference record are next deciding factors if they end up tied.

The Pacers (29-14) are 22-7 in the East while the Sixers are 19-13.

Instant observations: Sixers embarrass Knicks in most impressive win of the season

If you’re going to be an NBA title contender, you have to beat the crap out of crappy teams.

The Sixers did just that Wednesday night, playing perhaps their best all-around game of the year thumping the lowly Knicks 117-91 at the Wells Fargo Center.

There were no problems closing out games, no problems turning the ball over, cheap philadelphia 76ers jersey
and plenty of offense to go around. Here’s what I saw in Philadelphia’s NBA-best 11th home win of the season:

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The Good
• J.J. Redick was the star early, scoring nine of the Sixers’ first 18. Back after his first rest mid-quarter, Redick added five more points, going a perfect 6-for-6 in the opening frame (Philadelphia scored 41 first quarter points by the way, besting their NBA-leading average by more than 11 points).

Redick scored 24 points including four threes in the game but also proved to be a potent threat under the basket, driving to create offense around the rim. To what do we credit his particularly proficient play against New York? Obviously it’s the haircut.
Speaking of Simmons, in his second real season a sluggish start (by his standards at least) looked to be in the rearview as he turned in one of his typically inspiring, well-rounded performances reminiscent of his Rookie of the Year campaign. Limited by the blow out win, Simmons had 14 points, eight boards and seven assists in 24 minutes.

• What are the downsides to playing T.J. McConnell? Honestly? He has limitations, sure. But when he’s on the floor it’s hard not to watch and admire his effort and passion on the floor. Sadly, the team looks as if it hasn’t really missed a beat with Markelle Fultz sidelined. Two early drives to the hoop and some solid defense started off his quiet but effective night, as he netted six points and six rebounds in 25 minutes.

• Okay we’ve gone long enough without mentioning Joel Embiid. The clip below started as sort of a broken play, but the big man took advantage of a mis-match en route to two of his 26 points in epic, fans-rise-to-your-feet fashion:

Analyzing the Sixers defense

Sometimes, an architect leaves and the infrastructure in place is enough to support the institution. Other times, it perishes to rubble.

For the Philadelphia 76ers, their architect was former assistant coach Lloyd Pierce, his defense the edifice. Last year, Pierce established a top-three unit on that side of the ball (103.8 defensive rating), leaning on the All-Defensive-caliber talents of Joel Embiid, Robert Covington, and Ben Simmons.

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When the Atlanta Hawks hired away Pierce as their new head coach,Wholesale nba jerseys
Philadelphia appointed Billy Lange to steer the defense, hoping the greatness of the aforementioned trio would produce similar numbers. Through over a quarter of the season, that hasn’t been the case. The Sixers currently sit 12th in defensive rating (107.3), and were 16th (108.8) before blowout wins over the New York Knicks and Washington Wizards this week.

I’ve already identified a primary culprit of the struggles — defending guards in the pick-and-roll — but in recent games, we’ve witnessed a tweak to the standard drop formula. In the second half against the Brooklyn Nets, Philadelphia began trapping the ball handler to force someone other than D’Angelo Russell or Spencer Dinwiddie to burn them. Against the New York Knicks on Wednesday, Embiid rooted himself farther away from the rim to make pull-up jumpers less appetizing and eliminate some of the shooter’s airspace — a tactic Brett Brown touched on prior to the game.

Sixers vs. Grizzlies: Preview and Game Info

The Philadelphia 76ers are back in action tonight, as they play host to the Memphis Grizzlies. The Sixers, winners of eight of their last ten games, are one of the hottest teams in the NBA. If they can build on their momentum and secure a victory, they’ll find themselves 3.5 games back of the Eastern Conference-leading Toronto Raptors, and despite having a slightly worse win percentage than Milwaukee, the Sixers would technically be a half game up on the Bucks.

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The Memphis Grizzlies are having a solid season in their own right. With a record of 13-8, the Grizz rank 5th in the murky Western Conference. Leading the charge for Memphis’ success is Marc Gasol, Wholesale jerseys
who at age 33 is playing some of the best basketball of his career. Gasol is averaging 18.3 ppg, 9.7 rpg, 4.0 apg and 3.1 stocks per game (steals + blocks), and he ranks #1 overall in ESPN’s real plus-minus out of 438 players.

The matchup to watch tonight will be Marc Gasol vs. Joel Embiid, two centers who also happen to be the MVPs of their respective teams (though at the moment, Gasol is listed as a GTD). The two faced off earlier this season on November 10th, and Gasol got the better of Joel. In that meeting, Joel shot just 4 of 15 from the floor, scoring 14 points (well below his season average) and turning the ball over six (!) times. Gasol on the other hand had 18 points, 12 rebounds and 6 assists as the Grizzlies won the game 112-106.

While Memphis toppled the Sixers less than a month ago, the Sixers will be playing in their own arena tonight and now employ Jimmy Butler. Marc Gasol is listed as a game-time decision, so even if he plays, he may not be at 100%. Vegas likes the Sixers, placing the Grizzlies as 7.5 point underdogs.

Prediction: the Sixers defeat the Grizzlies, 119-107.

When you’ll be able to watch the Sixers on national TV

The Sixers will tip off the NBA season Oct. 16 in Boston against the Celtics at 8 p.m. on TNT. Two nights later, the Sixers host the Chicago Bulls on TNT.

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The 76ers will be on ABC on Christmas Day when they face the Celtics in Boston at 5:30 p.m.

A few weeks later on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Philadelphia 76ers jerseys Jan. 21, 2019, the Sixers host the Rockets at 8 p.m.

The NBA on Wednesday released its TV schedule for the first week of the season, Christmas Day and Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

James Harden and the Rockets will appear three times on national television in the opening week of the season, while Lakers, Warriors…